Rami Makhlouf’s brother Ihab confirms Syriatel resignation, declares loyalty to Assad

Prominent tycoon Rami Makhlouf’s brother Ihab has stepped down from his deputy role at Syriatel and pledged his loyalty to his cousin Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to a Facebook post in which he blamed his sibling for his resignation.

Ihab Makhlouf confirmed he was resigning and blamed brother Rami for their company’s legal and financial troubles with the Syrian government.

“I want to ensure that I was not pressured to step down from any side and that my resignation was a result of differences with the chairman of the board at Syriatel Mr. Rami Makhlouf over his dealings with the media over the legal and financial files toward the government,” Makhlouf wrote.

 

 

“The companies of the world will not budge my loyalty to the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad,” he added.

The government says Syriatel, the largest mobile phone network in Syria, owes 134 billion pounds, around $77 million at the current exchange rate on the parallel market.

The Makhlouf brothers are Assad’s first cousin and key members of the regime’s inner circle.

On Thursday, a Syrian court formally placed a temporary travel ban on Rami Makhlouf, whose assets were seized by the government earlier this week.

The move is the latest in the ongoing feud between Makhlouf and al-Assad, in which Makhlouf has published several videos criticizing the Syrian government.

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